China Painting And A Change In Life Style.

Way back in the 1920’s, my dad had his own business… Russell Vogler Export Company… and he exported logs to Japan. He had an uncanny ability to look at a boom of logs, and could tell how many board feet of lumber it would produce, very close to the actual tally. He told me once that he looked at the boom of logs and the number just popped into his head!

When I was 3, we moved to 6075 Angus Drive to a house that dad had had built for us.

Dad “worked with the tides” so would be up and away very early some mornings. Mom always got up and made his breakfast no matter how early it was.

She was a morning person… loved to get up early and get her work done. Then she would have time for her hobbies. Knitting,  crocheting, quilt making, and sometimes she hand painted china.

I still have some of her china, in the cupboard up over my stove, where I can’t even get at it for a peek. It was painted – about 1927. After the stock market crash of 1929, she no longer had the money to buy the supplies for painting, nor did she have the time after we moved to Beaver Valley.

You have probably noticed I manage to turn one story into two (sometimes more).. so here goes.

When we lived on Angus, bread and milk were delivered door to door. There was a Chinese vegetable man who came around with his horse and wagon. There was even ice delivery for the Ice Box. No fridge in those days.

Beaver Valley was a different story. Mom had to make all their bread.  Milk came from milking a cow, and you made your own butter, and cottage cheese and buttermilk…and you grew your own vegetables, and picked wild berries to make jam. Dad had a permit from the Game Warden to shoot animals out of season for our meat. We would have a whole moose hanging in the hay loft of the barn in winter. Just saw off what you needed!

We didn’t have a washing machine. All laundry was done by hand, on a scrub board… after the water was carried up the hill from the well down by the barn, heated on the wood stove, then carried out to dump it after you were finished. You hung the clothes outside on the clothesline, even in winter, when they froze stiff as boards!. Irons had to be heated on top of the stove, so you usually had two or three of them. The handle was changed from one to the other.

I think maybe before it was thrown out, some of that water was used to wash the floor!

You had to get the water and heat it for a bath, too. You had your “bath “ in a washtub behind the stove, with a sheet rigged up to give some privacy.

Yes, it was a different time! And a different way of life!


14 thoughts on “China Painting And A Change In Life Style.

  1. Your mother and my grandmother would have had a fine time at the china painting table. Some of your mother’s work looks much like my grandmother’s. They both had a fine hand.

    Knitting, crocheting, quilting and china painting were some of my grandmother’s hobbies as well. And getting up early to have all chores done by mid- to late-morning was her habit, too.

    Sorry to have been so absent these last couple of weeks. Life intruded.

  2. Good morning Judith! It is so good to see you and have your comments. There’s fresh tea, so I’ll just pour one for you. I do appreciate your visits, and missed you. Mustn’t let life intrude too much!
    For the china painting there were designs to be traced on to the china, so I’m sure there would be a similarity in our mom’s work.

    • Thank you for the tea. I needed it this morning. (Would have loved to share in the carrot cake as well. It is friend-husband’s favorite.)

      My comment about the china painting was not so much that the designs are similar, but that the finesse with which they shaded the colors and backgrounds was alike. I well remember the china markers for tracing, but my grandmother didn’t stay with the traced designs much. She “did her own thing.”

      I loved your mom’s grape plate — and the creamer and sugar — and… Oh, my!

      • Too bad that carrot cake is in Nova Scotia, Judith. We could have shared it with your husband as well. I have those pieces of china… and to think that they were hand painted about 1927 to 1929. I used them for special occasions when I had them in my china cabinet, but now I can’t reach them. It’s sad that they are “out of sight”. Thanks for coming back!

  3. So now we can see where you got your artistic talent from Norma! Your mother’s work on the china is so very beautiful.It really was a much different life than what us women of today experience,
    Laundry sure sounded like so much work compared to the automatic machines today. Have a wonderful day Norma! keep shining my friend!

    • Welcome, Dianne! The tea is ready, but no carrot cake like Phil is offering! I really appreciate your visits and comments, Dianne. It certainly was a different way of living, and my mom would be 53 when she left city living to the wilds of the Cariboo… but she never complained.

  4. That is a very valuable ability in the lumber world. I worked with a man who was very good at estimating the board footage in a load of logs – he owned a mill that I ended up working at. For anyone that does not know – a board foot of lumber is 12”x12”x1” thick (I work as an estimator).

    I wish I could take tea with you this morning in real time – I even brought some carrot cake to work and I would share it too .. if you like carrot cake. Have a great day Norma!!

    • Love carrot cake! Wouldn’t that be something if you could visit out here! They have two suites in our building that are available for family visits at a cheaper rent… how about it?

      When mom and dad lived on Vancouver Island I used to go over on weekends. Dad was tallyman for a lumber mill. I used to help him by checking all the board feet! A long time ago!

      When purchasing a boom of logs, dad’s ability was very useful!

  5. Morning, Norma,
    The dishes are so pretty. I love the shapes of the bowls with handles!
    Wonderful story. Such hardy people. Loved the visit today.
    Heather 🙂

    • Good morning Heather! So glad to see you and your comment. I poured a cup of tea for you. Too bad we can’t share Phil’s carrot cake!, but he’s in Nova Scotia!

      Those little bowls with handles are a cream and sugar set!

  6. The stock market crash really did change a lot of people’s lifestyles. What a huge adjustment it must have been to go from city to country living. Your mother must have taken her beautiful dishes with her if you acquired them. Such treasures!

    • Good morning Carol. You”r just in time for a fresh cup of tea. Thanks for coming and for your comment.
      I was always sorry that my parents lost their money and they had to “get by”… but… for my self.. I was almost glad. Dad didn’t think we should work. My sister trained to be his stenographer… but that left me. Because of the crash, I learned how to make a living for myself, and how to survive hardships. Some of the young people of today would have a difficult time… maybe not, but I think they have had such a soft life in comparison to “back then” that it would be harder for them.

  7. Aunty Norma,

    I am enjoying reading your blog. I am learning so much about my family that I did not know. Thank you so much for doing this.

    Love Daria

    • My dear Daria, What a nice surprise to find you visiting… did you pour a cup of tea for yourself? How I wish it was for real. It’s surprising what I can dig out from my memories, isn’t it! I’m glad that you are learning more about your great grandparents, and the rest of us. I spend quite a bit of time going through the old photos so that I can show what some of our family life was/is about. Thanks for letting me know that it is of interest to you.
      Auntie Norma.

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